Solving Social Problems

One fine evening  siting in my cozy room, playing with my TV remote, jumping from channel to channel, suddenly one TV serial caught my  eye. It was “Second opinion” , it is about the tragic experiences people have in hospitals and clinics and how the wrong diagnosis or delay in treatment caused disasters to victims and a thought process started.

Everyday we watch on the news or read in newspapers about many people dying in road accidents or due to some dreadful diseases; even though the medical profession and pharmaceutical industry has advanced so much and we have medicines available for almost all diseases. I started thinking what might be the reason behind this and what can we do to control it. My train of thought resulted in this blog writeup.

Lack of education, hygiene and discipline in road traffic are the main reasons for the many lives we lose everyday on streets or in hospitals. Many people die in road accidents because they don’t get the medical attention in time. Now a days people hesitate to help, because they don’t want to disturb their normal routine. For them reaching office on time is more important than saving someones life! This reality makes me feel numb but the situation is not hopeless yet. There is still some humanity left, we just need to encourage more and more people to show it.

I don’t expect everyone to jump at the accident site or hospitals for help; though it is great idea, but even the tiniest of our every day deeds can help a great deal. For instance, while traveling always make way for an ambulance first, it may save a critical patient’s life.

I read a few days back about a group in Delhi which provides free medical treatment to poor people.

Likewise, we could buy medicines for some one who can not afford it. This reminds me of an episode from the Aamir Khan starter show “Satyamev  Jayate”. In this episode one gentleman shared his experience about how his maid’s son lost his life due to a very easily curable disease such as Diarrhea, simply because he did not receive medicine on time. This is very depressing and makes me wonder in which millennium are we living. On one hand we have reached the moon while on the other hand people die due to such mundane disease.

Then there are the donations a person can make. Blood donation is like an elixir for not only the receiver but it is also healthy for the donor. The more willing people pledge for important donations like eyes or other body organs after the death. Such pledges while being a small gesture in life, let you feel the joy of giving a new life to someone, even after you move on with the journey after life…

There are some situations like where your love and affection can do wonders that even medicines may not.  We can work with NGO’s which helps aids patients or their children, orphans, disable children. I am also trying to do something for  people who tested positive for HIV. For this I got inspired by my own family members. My father and my  younger sister work to help such people. For last five years my father is organizing AIDS awareness camps and my sister works for the “prabha-hira  pratishthan palavi pandharpur ” which is the home for  abandoned children’s tested positive for HIV. Your little help can also enlighten their lives.

And the list goes on… I hope this blog will make us all think about the current situation and doing something for this cause. Remember, even the tiniest of our every day deeds can help a great deal!

Abhijit AradhyeAbhijit is an .NET developer working for savetime.com. He did his MCS from Pune Universicity. He is very passionate about software design, Real world and how the two intersect. Love to learn new technologies. He is a passionate person who takes up responsibilities with utmost enthusiasm. He enjoys music, watching movies, selectively read books mostly written by P.L.Deshpande. He is very passionate about cricket.  He love’s swimming and Chess also.

Impact on healthcare practice by the use of eRx.

A July 2006 report from National Academics of Science’s Institute of Medicine (IOM), says “Doctors’ sloppy handwritten prescription kills more than 7,000 people annually and also preventable medication mistakes injure more than 1.5 million Americans annually.”

If that’s the case in a developed country, imagine the state of medical prescriptions in India where medical awareness is scarce, especially in rural India.

To address the situation and give a push for electronic medical records, healthcare companies and technology firms have launched a program to enable all doctors in U.S. to write electronic prescription (eRx).

eRx in India though not completely new, still is not adapted and is a rarely used practice. Though many undisputed advantages can be gained by using eRx, i.e. check for potentially harmful drug interactions and ensure that pharmacies provide appropriate medications and doses. “Thousands of people are dying, and we’ve been talking about these problems for ages”, says Mitesh Bohra CEO, savetime.com, who has initiated a project in Pune to digitize all doctor information and create ability for a doctor to write prescriptions on a tablet computer. “Today we have the technology to change the way healthcare is practiced in India, so why aren’t we doing it?”, he asks.

Doctor with a Digital Tablet Prescription PadOne of the biggest reasons why it is not in practice yet is because of ignorance and hence doctors haven’t invested in this needed technology. When people become aware of the worldwide fact and use technology the same way as in other sectors, healthcare for sure will be revolutionized.

Focusing on the bright side of this technology- that the patients would not have to struggle in understanding their own prescriptions and also they get it in digital format so their medical history can also be stored.

Automation should eliminate many of the errors that occur when a pharmacist misunderstands or misrecords medication names or dosages, conveyed messily on paper or hurriedly over the phone. For example: a spoken request of Celebrex can be mistaken for Celexa, or a notation requesting 150 milligrams of a drug might be read as 1500mg. In electronic systems, drugs and dosages are selected from menus to prevent input errors, and pharmacists don’t need to re-enter information.

Let’s hope that eRx turns out to be the default practice in coming years and  efforts made by healthcare IT companies such as Savetime help save thousands of lives caused by misinterpretations made by improperly written prescription.

Shashank Rathore

Shashank loves to try out new and different things. His adventurous spirit led him to Savetime where he works on UI/UX and is enjoying the challenges that comes with it thoroughly. Highly motivated and a confident soul, Shashank dreams to be an entreprenuer himself. Listening to songs and high quality of friendship keeps him striving for excellence.

Taking on Negligence, Malpractice and Inefficiencies in Healthcare.

How trustworthy are doctors today? Are they really fulfilling their duties as a lifesaver with full dignity?

Today, individuals are not plagued as much by diseases or illnesses, but by medical malpractice.

A friend of mine who was pretty much fit thought of doing a complete body check up. When her test results came out, she turned blue reading the highlighted, Cholesterol: 300 mg/dL. She ran to her physician with the report. He said she needs to control her diet and stop consuming oily stuff as her cholesterol level has reached the maximum limit. He prescribed her few medicines to lower her cholesterol. Fearful of ill-health, she consumed those medicines and fell sick. She was taken to another hospital where they told her that cholesterol level was never high, instead it went low because of wrong medication. When her family raised this issue with the previous hospital they concluded that there was a small mistake from their end. The reports got exchanged. Really?

How simple it was for them to say it was a small mistake. Was the mental and physical pain the patient had to undergo of no significance? This mistake could have lead to severe health issues for my friend.

Another malpractice that we observe is in the Emergency Rooms (ER) at many hospitals that have become chaotic environments where overcrowding and medical negligence is a serious problem. Many patients are left wounded waiting for hours in the queue in order to be evaluated and treated for their medical needs.  Although most patients who are kept waiting for long periods of time will not see any significant deterioration, some patients may have medical conditions far more dangerous. When doctors and nurses are overloaded with patients, they are forced to rush from patient to patient to manage the crowd, sometimes causing them to misdiagnose a patient’s medical condition. Under this type of workload the medical staff is more likely to be tired, overworked, stressed, and disconnected from their patients. This increases the patient’s medical negligence and they are left harmed as a result. Surgical mistakes are also a big cause of death for thousands of people today. Because the patient is unconscious during an operation, he or she is generally the last person to find out if any medical malpractice occurred. The black market in human organs has become a grave threat to public health. Patients completely rely on the medical practitioners without even realizing that post surgery they return home without some essential organs of their body.

When we approach a doctor we usually have to fill out papers that deal with our personal information, our medical history and anything that the doctor should know about our medical condition. From there, these forms go from the clerk to the nurse, and then finally the doctor. One cannot see a lot of issues with this but it can actually cause more problems than none. Those pieces of paper pass from one hand, to another and in that whole process those pieces of paper can easily be tampered, misinterpreted and ultimately misdiagnosed as well.

Use of right technology not only helps assure that the patient’s information is taken care of, but it also helps the hospitals and doctors in improving their efficiency and the quality of diagnosis. Technology can easily help a doctor pull up a patient’s record anywhere in their office or even share it with other entities that may need it. By using technology, it ultimate helps lower the probability of medical malpractice if done appropriately by making the patient’s  information not only more easily readable, but also very clear and understandable.

To curb this issue of malpractice we need to bring in medical laws that encompass the protection of both patients and medical professionals. Patients should be protected under medical law against medical professionals who cause some form of harm, injury or death to a patient, as well as breaching a level of confidentiality. In addition there should also be a medical law to protect medical professionals who have acted responsibly when caring for a patient, despite being wrongly accused by a patient for medical malpractice or other breach of the law.

Fatima SayedFatima is working as an Associate Support in Sales and Marketing team of Savetime.com. She has completed her Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics from University of Pune in the year 2012. When she isn’t glued to her computer screen, you will find her spending her leisure time with pieces of paper creating origami structures to adorn her house.

A wakeup call for doctors? New age healthcare

“Why admit her in ICU for 5 days for an E-coli infection especially after you have isolated the bacteria through blood work and determined which antibiotics it is not resistant to?” I asked a reputed doctor.

What transpired for almost 20 minutes after this question was a classical offense-as-the-best-way-of-defense story. I was accused of being this new generation guy who reads up half-baked stuff on the internet and thinks they are more qualified than doctors. I was told to perform diagnosis and was told “bring anyone who can challenge my diagnosis”.

For the first few minutes of taking this onslaught, I was baffled. What did I say that made our डॉक्टर साब so angry? It was simply a question, a desire to understand what and why, something that is increasingly becoming a fundamental need in modern times.

It was only later did I realize that doctors in India aren’t really used to any kind of questioning, let alone a harmless information seeking question. We Indians have been living for decades in a deprived society sorely lacking education, awareness and more importantly lack of choice in which doctor you can go to. That made doctors “gods”.

That’s what is changing. The new gen is armed with a lot more education, medical information and the courage to ask questions. If a doctor is unwilling to have such conversation with patients and/or their relatives, they are putting themselves in grave danger. Not the danger of a lawsuit or a lost patient but the danger of becoming obsolete.

The new gen doctors have tremendous opportunity here to develop greater rapport and bond with the patient community by being responsive and by simply having conversations with them. The new era powered by the Internet and availability of information at your fingertips has established itself in the uprooting of traditional industries. Look around you: is travel industry the same, is retail industry the same? Healthcare services will be no exception.

It’s a wakeup call for doctors…

Mitesh Bohra, CEO & Co-founderMitesh is CEO, Co-founder at savetime.com. He has been working in the industry for over 16 years and this is his 3rd startup after InfoBeans and Infosignz. Mitesh is a BE in Electronics from India and has dual MBA from Columbia Business School, New York and Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, California.